STEWIACKE - This town's population has stayed relatively flat in the 21st century.
In fact, its population from 2001 (1,388) was only 50 less than it was in 2011 (1,438).
But after proclaiming Stewiacke as being "a great place to live," new mayor Wendy Robinson hopes to see more growth in the new year.
"We've averaged about 10 new homes a year," she said. "But I expect that in a year or two we will surpass that and even be up to about 20.
"We're really looking toward new growth in terms of housing and businesses."
This optimism is based on several factors.
"Geographically, we are in a great location, being right off the major highway," said Robinson, who was acclaimed as mayor in October. "We have lots of land. As a community we are still small and rural enough, and we have that small-town feeling."
Lower housing prices, when compared with communities closer to Halifax, is another attraction to living in Stewiacke, which was incorporated in 1906.
"We are 50 minutes to downtown Halifax and on good highways, so those working in Halifax can enjoy somewhat of a cottage feel while living here," said Robinson, who is the first female mayor in the town's history.
Robinson described 2012 as an "average" year for the town, one setback being a September fire which destroyed a laundromat and left several people homeless.
But in the fire's aftermath, the community came together to help out.
"Someone arranged a ball tournament to be used as a fundraiser, and two churches held clothing drives," said Robinson. "They opened their doors to collect food and distribute it. The community was tremendous."
October's municipal election produced three new councilors, two of whom - Susan Creelman and Richard Patterson - were in the top three vote-getters. Creelman actually finished with the highest number of votes at 360. Patterson had 309.
"I was somewhat surprised, but not totally," Robinson said about the numbers. "I know both of those candidates had put a lot of effort into their campaigns. They went door-to-door and talked to as many people as they could."
A new business and tourism committee is high on council's agenda for 2013.
"It's kind of taken off," said Robinson. "We have some new members that are excited about the new prospects."
Some sessions have been held to hear from businesses about what they wanted to see in the community and projects that could be worked on.
Council is looking into the possibility of building a new civic building for town hall and the library.
"We've created an ad-hoc committee to see what our needs are, but we are nowhere near making a decision on anything," she stressed.
The town is also looking at the final pieces of infrastructure that need to be replaced in the Riverside Avenue area.
"It's going to be an expensive avenue. The pipes have to be replaced for the water and sewer.
"We're also looking at our water supply. We're collecting data on the river cap to see how much water we can take out and if we have to look for other sources."